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The Best Time to Take Action Is Now Follow the Dale Carnegie school of thought. Doing something is always better than doing nothing.

By Jeremy Ellens Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage." -- Dale Carnegie

I've thought a lot about this quote recently. Have you ever looked back on the past few months or years and thought, "Man, if only I really committed to doing ________. Things would be so much different right now."

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Maybe it was finally taking massive action on hiring that personal trainer and learning how to eat clean. Imagine if you had started that habit three years ago, and you looked back knowing that you did the best you could, and that resulted now in being in the best shape of your life. You don't get sick or injured as often. You have incredible energy in everything that you do. Your partner finds you incredibly desirable, and you've inspired the loved ones around you to take better care of themselves.

Maybe you look back and wish that you had taking massive action to read a book every two weeks. Imagine how much you would have learned and grown from that experience. They say that any problem you are going through now has already been solved or written down. Imagine the confidence and capabilities you would have if over the past three years, you had read over 300 books.

For the entrepreneurs reading this, maybe you look back and think -- if only I had taken massive action on growing my following, how different things would be today. If only I had started three years ago. Instead of reaching 4,000 people a week, you were able to reach 400,000 people a week. Imagine the momentum and massive shift that would create in your business and the world. Imagine the impact you would be having.

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Often times, there is so much to do, and we have so many great ideas, that we struggle to take massive action on any of them. Maybe we think that we can't move forward with something without it being absolutely perfect. Our inaction creates doubt and uncertainty. We begin to listen to others about why something won't work. The voice in our head starts to become a breeding ground for doubt, fear and uncertainty. We're too afraid of focusing on the wrong thing or worry what will happen if we fail. Sometimes this goes on for months or years, and we end up not really accomplishing anything -- because we feel paralyzed.

Mark Zuckerberg once said, "The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that's changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking any risks."

One of the core values that has really grown stronger for me over the past few years is the idea of failure. A while back, I read the book The Lean Startup and it has been one of the greatest books I've read, because it instilled this principle in me to take action quickly -- and then look for the learning opportunity. Forget about being perfect. Forget about failing. Learn -- it builds confidence and courage.

Have something to look back on three years from today, so you can say to yourself, "I'm so glad I took massive action on __________."

I'll leave you with one of my favorite Chinese Proverbs: "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. But the second best time is today."

Now go out and get busy!

Related: Ask Yourself These 3 Questions to Set Yourself on a Path to a Better Life

Jeremy Ellens

Co-founder of Yazamo

Jeremy Ellens is the co-founder of Yazamo, a Phoenix-based digital-marketing agency specializing in the health and wellness field. Yazamo helps their clients grow their email lists by over 100,000 people in one year and increase their online sales. Ellens was previously named one of the top five college entrepreneurs in the nation by Entrepreneur Magazine, after which he quit his job to pursue entrepreneurship full-time and start Yazamo.


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